• Pakistani man holds a national flag during a ceremony to mark the Independence Day at the mausoleum of Pakistani founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, Aug. 14, 2016.IANS
  • Pakistani children hold national flags on a street on the eve of the country's Independence Day in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on Aug. 13, 2016.IANS

Pakistan celebrated its 70th Independence Day on August 14, but the nature of celebrations came in for criticism by a prominent Pakistani human rights activist in the backdrop of the terrorist attack in Quetta that left 70 people dead.

On Aug 8, terrorists had attacked the Government Hospital of Quetta with a suicide bombing and shooting. The fatalities were mainly advocates who had assembled at the hospital where the body of advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi, the president of Balochistan Bar Association, was brought after he was shot dead.

Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by various groups like Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and the Islamic State. Over 90 people were also injured in the attack.

The main event of Pakistan's 70th Independence Day celebrations was a flag hoisting ceremony at Convention Center in Islamabad where President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest. He also addressed the nation on the occasion.

In a series of tweets, Asma Jahangir termed the celebrations "callous" amid the mayhem left behind by the terrorists.

In New Delhi, Pakistan's high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit celebrated the country's Independence Day on Sunday by "dedicating" it to "Azad Kashmir" (which India calls Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, or PoK). 

"Is saal ki Jashn‑e‑Azadi hum Kashmir ki Azadi ke naam karte hain (We dedicate the Independence Day celebrations of this year to a free Kashmir)," Basit said, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated India's position that PoK was an integral part of India.